Are independent repair shops stealing a big chunk of your service business? If you’re like most dealers, the answer is an emphatic yes. According to this article just released by Ward’s Auto, third-party independent repair shops are pirating about 75% of service business from the dealerships where the customers purchase their cars.
We don’t have to tell you this is a big deal, especially when you consider that 53% of a dealership’s average daily gross profit comes from the service department. If you could get even a fraction of that other 75% back, just imagine what a positive impact that would have on your dealership’s bottom line!
What does the article say is the answer to keeping a larger percentage of buyers – and turning them into faithful service customers? Show them the value of your service department – and do it as soon as possible. Why so quickly? Because right now, about 30% of sales customers bring their vehicle back for service within the first year … but that number drops dramatically to 13% after three years, and just 2% after five years!
There are some good ideas mentioned in the article that can help. First, introduce the customer to the service director the day they buy a car from you – and do the best you can to schedule their first oil change on that day, so bringing the car to your dealership becomes habitual. Sending them special offers via regular mail and the Internet can also be helpful. (Note: This is where a JKR customer newsletter program comes in handy!)
These statistics also show how important it is to keep the customers that do come to your service department as happy as possible. Unless you meet and exceed their needs, you shouldn’t be surprised if they follow the long line of other buyers to the independent repair shops.
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